Friday, 19 December 2014

Ten Books That Changed Your Life

A while back a friend on Facebook1 challenged me to list for her the Ten Books That Changed Your Life. So I thought long and I thought hard, and then I wrote this instead2. Not necessarily my ten favourite books as we speak. In fact not even just ten. Because I cheated…

Ten books that changed my life:

1= Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
1= Frank Lloyd Wright on Architecture – Selected writings 1894-1940, ed. By Frederick Gutheim
1 = Economic Sophisms – Frederic Bastiat

2 = Ninety-Three – Victor Hugo
2 = Time Enough For Love – Robert Heinlein
2 = Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology – Ayn Rand

3 = The Four Million – O. Henry

4 = Austrian Economics: A Reader – Richard Ebeling, editor
4 = Foucault's Pendulum – Umberto Eco
4 = The Romantic Manifesto: A Philosophy of Literature – Ayn Rand

5 = Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics – George Reisman
5 = Aristotle – John Herman Randall

6 = The Long Goodbye – Raymond Chandler
6 = No Highway – Nevil Shute
6 = Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
6 = We – Yevgeny Zamyatin

7 = Martini: A Memoir – Frank Moorhouse
7 = The Complete Saki – Saki
7 = The Old Man and The Sea – Ernest Hemingway

8 = All the Trouble in the World: The Lighter Side of Overpopulation, Famine, Ecological Disaster, Ethnic Hatred, Plague, and Poverty – PJ O’Rourke
8 = How to Lie With Statistics – Darrell Huff
8 = Up the Organisation: How to Stop the Corporation from Stifling People & Strangling Profits – Robert Townsend

9 = The Book of Tofu – William Shurtleff & Akiko Aoyagi
9 = Willard & His Bowling Trophies – Richard Brautigan
9 = Architecture as Nature: The Transcendentalist Idea of Louis Sullivan – Narciso Menocal

10 =The Landscape of Man: Shaping the Environment from Prehistory to the Present Day – Geoffrey & Susan Jellicoe
10 = The Noblest Triumph: Property Rights Through the Ages – Tom Bethell
10 = The Roosevelt Myth – John Flynn
10 = Putting Humans First: Why We Are Nature’s Favourite – Tibor Machan

So which ten or so books changed your life?

1. No, not a Facebook friend, but an actual friend who communicated with me on Facebook. It happens.
2. And promptly forgot about until just now when I found a copy down behind the printer.


  1. I have a few in common but would humbly add:

    On The Road, Kerouac.
    Six Not-So-Easy-Pieces, Richard Feynman
    The Message In The Bottle, Walker Percy
    The Outsider, Colin Wilson.
    Collected Poems, Philip Larkin.

    I think the affect as book has on one depends on the prevailing circumstances at the time you read it.

    Chris R.

  2. In chronological order, as I've read them..

    Zen & the art of motorcycle maintenance -Robert M Pirsig
    Grow Rich while you sleep -Ben Sweetland
    The Fountainhead -Ayn Rand
    Ninety Three -Victor Hugo
    The LIbertarian Reader -David Boaz
    Everything I want to do is illegal -Joel Salatin

    B Whitehead


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